When setting up a Google Places for Business listing, you always need to remember the NAP mantra: Name, Address, Phone Number. These are your unique identifiers for your business in Google – and need to be uniform across all listings, citations, and websites, especially your own.
As such, you need to choose these details carefully. Is your address appearing in Google Local results under another business name? Are there competing businesses with similar names to yours? This needs to be taken into account if you want to be found by potential customers.
You need to make yourself aware of what your customers search for to find you. Doing a bit of research by searching for some key phrases that describe your business is a good start. Take into account what sort of businesses appear when searching – do businesses similar to yours appear for the search terms you would expect? This means you’re on the right track.
Recently, Google has entertained the notion that service area businesses (SABs) like plumbers, electricians, painters, decorators, window cleaners, business consultants, and other service providers often work from home or small offices not fit for customer visits. Often, they travel out to a customer’s location to offer their services. If you’re a business such as this, you operate over an area that Google considers a “service area,” or “operational radius.” Google recognises the legitimacy of your local business and knows that you deserve to appear on local map listings and local search results. However, you now don’t need to be tethered to a precise location – probably to prevent disgruntled customers turning up at your pokey cupboard of an office or worse, your family home – and getting annoyed at the lack of customer service.
To avoid this, you need to declare that you’ll deliver services to customers at the customer’s location using the check box. By doing this, you agree to hide your permanent address, but it still counts when determining where your customers search for your services. You can then outline specific service areas, or you can define a service radius. Unfortunately, using service areas may result in your listing floating somewhere in the service area abyss on Google maps, trapped at the algorithmic centre of gravity of your target area. Alternatively you could select a radial distance from your location where you are prepared to serve customers.
Therefore, you need to be very careful about where you’re based on Google Local, and the area that you service. Google’s “Venice” update from 2012 has given small businesses the clout to show up on page one for customers in their immediate service areas – so the more honest and accurate you are with your address, the more local customers you should attract. Doing everything “properly” has the potential advantage of floating your map marker over the “centroid” of your town, and for most locally focused SABs this would be ideal.
Your best bet for appearing in front of potential customers using Google Maps is to choose a location as close to the centre of your business area as possible. Of course, this means using a landline telephone number for business purposes – but thanks to call forwarding and virtual business numbers from services such as EverReach, it’s easy to set up a convenient location for the purposes of best representing your service area to your customers.
Get more great stuff delivered fresh to your inbox.